PwC Canada 2019 Canadian Consumer Insights Survey: Retail Trends to Watch

The PwC Canada Canadian Consumer Insights Survey always has interesting retail trends to consider, and the 2019 report is no exception.

The survey looks at the latest consumer behaviour to track what is mattering most to Canadians. Here are some of this year’s highlights:

Return on Experience

Something interesting the 2019 Canadian Consumer Insights Survey pointed out was the emphasis on “Return on Experience.” We’ve all heard about the return on investment (ROI) but return on experience (ROX) is something different.

“Measuring ROX will help companies understand the return they’re getting on an investment made into parts of the organization directly related to how consumers interact with their brand,” PwC Canada wrote.

This includes investing in the customer experience and the employee experience. PwC Canada’s Digital IQ – Canadian Insights Report found that 91% of the top financially performing organizations globally had an executive in charge of employee experience, compared with 74% in Canada.

Canadians are Grocery Shopping In-Store Over Online

One of the most fascinating findings in the 2019 survey was the remaining popularity of in-store grocery shopping. Only 20% of survey respondents said they would be “likely” to purchase groceries online in the next 12 months. 69% said they were “unsure or not likely.”

Grocery customers still prefer to see and touch the products, or even discover new products. When shopping online, they are worried about being given lower-quality products, or their food being damaged during transportation.

Micro-Trips Are In

Along with Canadians still preferring in-store grocery shopping, it seems consumers also prefer taking more shopping trips. Rather than doing their shopping in one haul, 26% said that they make “micro-trips” (trips less than five minutes long) two to three times per week. 23% said they shop weekly, and 10% said daily or more.

Organic, Locally-Produced, and Sustainable Packaging

Grocery shoppers are also preferring products that help the environment. 42% of shoppers avoid the use of plastic where possible, 42% buy items with less packaging, 38% look for products with environmentally-friendly packaging, 33% choose sustainable products to help protect the environment, and 28% buy brands that promote sustainable products.

This retail trend isn’t only for grocers: 33% said they’re willing to pay more for non-food items that are either sustainably or ethically produced.

Voice Payments Are on the Rise

Voice-enabled technology has been a buzzword for a while now, but it’s looking like it is finally catching on at the cash register. According to Juniper Research, Internet of Things payments (including voice payments) will grow by 75% a year globally.

Health Tech is Working Up

Smart health trackers, like sleep, exercise, stress reduction, and fertility monitoring, is also increasing in popularity. 37% of Canadians between the ages of 25 – 34 using a health app. Exercise and diet monitoring is most important to Canadians overall, but stress and sleep tracking mattered more to the 18-to-34 crowd.

See the full PwC Canada 2019 Canadian Consumer Insights Report here:

What insights stood out the most to you? Are there any action items you will implement for your brand? Let us know on social media. Marketsupport Canada is on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

We work with brands and retailers to create a stronger customer experience and ensure product is always kept on shelf. Contact us today to learn more. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit

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